The Excellence of Proceeding towards the Mosque Walking
1053. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who goes to the mosque in the morning or in the evening, Allah prepares for him a place in Jannah whenever he goes to the mosque in the morning and returns from it in the evening.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith points out the merit of going on foot to the mosque for Salat, no matter whether one goes in the morning or the evening. In fact, the heart of a Muslim should be attached to mosques and on account of this, he goes there at all the prescribed hours of Salat to perform his Salat in congregation.
1054. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "He who purifies (performs Wudu') himself in his house and then walks to one of the houses of Allah (mosque) for performing an obligatory Salat, one step of his will wipe out his sins and another step will elevate his rank (in Jannah).''
Commentary: This Hadith has an inducement for offering Salat in the mosque and brings into eminence the merit of doing so. The merit lies in the fact that one minor sin is pardoned at every step that is taken towards the mosque and one's status (in Jannah) is enhanced by one stage. This Hadith also mentions the vastness of the Mercy and Blessing of Allah.
1055. Ubayy bin Ka`b (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: There was a man of the Ansar whose house was the farthest from the mosque. As far as I know, he never missed Salat (in congregation). It was said to him: "If you buy a donkey, you may ride upon it in the dark nights and in the hot days.'' He said: "I do not like that my house should be situated close to the mosque. I desire that my walking towards the mosque and returning home be recorded to my credit.'' Upon this the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Allah has gathered all (rewards) for you.''
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that the location of the mosque at a long distance from one's house is advantageous in the sense that one gains merits at every step when he goes to the mosque and returns from it. Not only that, a minor sin of him is also pardoned at every step. This Hadith also highlights the merit of good intention. One can attain many heights by dint of one's good intentions.
1056. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: There were some plots of land lying vacant around the mosque. The people of Banu Salamah decided to move to this land and come nearer to the mosque. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) heard about it and said to them, "I have heard that you intend to move near the mosque.'' They said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah! We have decided to do that.'' Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "O Banu Salamah! Stay in your houses, because your footprints (when you come to the mosque) will be recorded.'' He said this twice. They said: "We would not have liked it, had we moved near the mosque.''
Commentary: This Hadith mentions the merit of living at a distance from mosque. It is better that such people who lack the passion for worship and are not punctual in Salat should live near mosque so that they do not neglect the obligatory prayers.
1057. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The person who will receive the highest reward for Salat (prayer) is the one who comes to perform it in the mosque from the farthest distance. And he who waits for Salat to perform it with the Imam (in congregation) will have a greater reward than the one who observes it alone and then goes to sleep.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith tells us that a person who comes to the mosque for Salat from a longer distance earns a greater reward than the others who live near the mosque. It also mentions the merit of performing Salat in congregation and waiting for it till one performs it behind the Imam.
1058. Buraidah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Convey glad tidings to those who walk to the mosque in the darkness. For they will be given full light on the Day of Resurrection.''
[At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].
Commentary: "In the darkness'' here indicates the Fajr and `Isha' prayers which are performed when it is dark. Because of the street lighting nowadays we do not feel darkness in these hours in towns and cities but even then these lights do not overcome the darkness completely. Thus in spite of the lights, Fajr and `Isha' prayers are the prayers of the dark. Their merit mentioned in this Hadith is that those Muslims who go to the mosque for these prayers will be endowed with perfect light on the Day of Requital by means of which they will easily cross As-Sirat, while those who will be deprived of this light will be facing great trouble in crossing it.
1059. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Shall I not tell you something by which Allah effaces the sins and elevates the ranks (in Jannah).'' The Companions said: "Yes (please tell us), O Messenger of Allah.'' He said, "Performing the Wudu' properly in spite of difficult circumstances, walking with more paces to the mosque, and waiting for the next Salat (prayer) after a observing Salat; and that is Ar-Ribat, and that is Ar-Ribat.''
Commentary: This Hadith has already been mentioned. It has been repeated here to show that meticulous care in respect of purification, Salat and worship is akin to Jihad for the sake of Allah, and fight against the enemy in the battlefield. See the commentary on Hadith No.1030.
1060. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When you see a man frequenting the mosque, testify that he is a believer because Allah says: `Allah's mosques are visited only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.'''
Commentary: One who goes to the mosque again and again to perform Salat in congregation deserves that one bears witness to his faith. This Hadith also brings into prominence the merit and distinction of those who have an attachment to mosque, a passion for worship and remembrance of Allah, and fondness for the construction and maintenance of the mosque. This Hadith is weak in authenticity but correct in its meanings and significance.